The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Crisis management team revamps campus security procedures

Photo by Patrick Hansell for The Lafayette
The new structure prioritizes technical, safety and communication improvements to Public Safety’s emergency preparedness.

The Lafayette Crisis Management Team is restructuring to better address campus emergencies. Originally a task force put together by Public Safety, the group is working with the college administration to improve transparency on campus.

The initial proposals for a new structure came at the beginning of 2023 and all changes are expected to be finalized in the near future. According to members of Lafayette Public Safety, there is no specific timetable as to when all changes will be officially made. 

Alongside Public Safety, Audra Kahr, vice president for finance and administration and Pete Mackey, interim vice president for communications and marketing, are part of the administrative team behind the task force.

“At the outset of 2023, the president assigned a group of staff members, including [ourselves], to review how we manage emergencies so that we continue to have successful prevention, response and recovery to ensure we are fully consistent with best practices,” Kahr and Mackey wrote in a collaborative email. “The College’s Crisis Management Team will continue to practice  … and respond to emergencies, making any necessary adjustments for improved response and communication.”

The Crisis Management Team has put safety plans into three separate groups: a technical group, a safety group and a communication group.

One of the main technical changes was to switch Leopard Alerts from being an opt-in program to an opt-out program. This process was done after numerous updates to the computer systems. 

“A lot of work was put into [the Leopard Alerts] with our IT department,” Director of Public Safety Jeff Troxell said. “It’s a heavy lift for the the technical side of things where you have to gather the information, gather the email addresses, gather the cell phone numbers and then put it into the system.”

Another concern for the task force was addressing equipment efficacy.

“We’re always looking to how … our equipment [performed]. We’re actively looking at the potential for adding additional warning sirens on some of the buildings we’re looking at,” Troxell said.

The safety group enhancements focus on improving table-top exercises, which Troxell described as practices to get the new administration familiar with emergency procedures. 

“I thought it was very constructive, and I had a really good feeling about the meetings,” Associate Director and Chief of Police Jim Meyer said about going through the exercises.

Public Safety evaluates the success of any changes in After Action Reviews, which are completed after an emergency occurs or practices are completed by the team.

“It’s a process used to reflect, identify gaps and review best practices and lessons learned,” Kahr and Mackey wrote about the evaluations. 

Additionally, the team’s communication group is looking to promote transparency in the event of an emergency. The communication group’s changes are yet to be approved by the administration, and reports will be sent to the senior administration by the end of next week.

Troxell, Meyer, Kahr and Mackey all referenced pages nine through 11 of the Public Safety Annual Security Report as a valuable source for campus members seeking information about emergency procedures. The group also encouraged contacting Public Safety for analysis constructive criticism from campus members regarding safety procedures. 

While communication and equipment methods are constantly being analyzed by Public Safety, general emergency procedures remain largely unchanged. The run, hide and fight system promoted by Public Safety training videos also remains the same.

“As far as classifying emergencies and how we respond to them, that remains the same to this day,” Troxell said. 

Andreas Pelekis ’26 contributed reporting.

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About the Contributors
Benjamin White
Benjamin White, Staff Sports Writer
Patrick Hansell
Patrick Hansell, Staff Photographer

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